10th Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 20, 2010: Its been ten years since DWHOS the worst environmental disaster in US history, which polluted biodiverse waters and at least 5 states on the northern Gulf of Mexico. Eleven oil rig workers tragically lost their lives, as well as all of the countless wild organisms. Funds for scientific research followed from this event, which allowed valuable characterizations of the habitats, at least one silver lining to the spill, but we have seen regulations on drilling and protections recently start to lapse. Also, we are not moving away from fossil fuels quickly enough overall. Our molecular lab received early funding from the Florida Institute of Oceanography (2011-2012) to carry out research on the effects of oil on marine sponges. This resulted in a basic microbiome characterization of Cinachyrella (Cuvelier et al, 2014) which did not support our original hypotheses that symbionts would show strong oil or dispersant effects. Its taken a while but we are generating and finaling new data on the sponge transcriptome that will arise from the first experiments and samples. Also the much bigger project, DEEPEND arose from DWHOS, and those studies are also wrapping up.